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Ginger Wine® Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius

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Ginger Wine® Ninebark

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The Ginger Wine® Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) is a captivating deciduous shrub that showcases a remarkable transition of colors throughout its growing seasons. Originating from North America, this low-maintenance shrub has become a garden favorite for its durable nature and vibrant display.

In the spring, the Ginger Wine® begins its display with foliage that bursts into a cheerful orange hue. As the seasons progress, the leaves mature into a sparkling burgundy, creating a striking contrast in any garden. Its popularity is further cemented by its ability to thrive in hardy zones 3 through 7, which speaks to its resilience in the face of winter's chill.

The plant's stunning color palette is not its only feature; it also blooms with clusters of white flowers in late spring, which gracefully transform into attractive red seed heads. This adds to the plant’s visual appeal and provides a spectacular show from spring to autumn without the need for any significant maintenance like pruning or deadheading.

Plant Attributes

The Ginger Wine® Ninebark is a medium-sized, deciduous shrub reaching heights and spreads of 5 to 6 feet, providing a substantial presence in the landscape. Its upright habit and arching branches add architectural interest to any garden setting. The shrub is renowned for its foliage, which emerges as a sunny orange in spring and matures to a dazzling purple-red, bringing a burst of color to the garden from early spring until fall.

The plant blooms on old wood, showcasing clusters of pink and white flowers in early summer and late spring that later develop into red seed heads. This native North American shrub is a top seller not only for its beauty but also for its hardiness, tolerating zones 3a through 7b. Moreover, the Ginger Wine® Ninebark is remarkably drought-tolerant once established, making it an excellent choice for gardens with low water availability.

Landscape Use

The Ginger Wine® Ninebark is a versatile shrub that can be employed in a multitude of landscaping uses due to its vibrant foliage, seasonal flowers, and overall hardiness. Here are some of its primary landscaping applications:

  • Border Planting: Its medium size and colorful foliage make it an excellent choice for borders, where it can provide a backdrop for perennials or serve as the main attraction.
  • Container Planting: While it grows to a considerable size, it can also be placed in large containers to add structure and color to patios, decks, or balconies.
  • Cut Flower: The flowers of the Ginger Wine® Ninebark can be cut and used in floral arrangements, adding a rustic charm to bouquets.
  • Screening: Due to its dense growth, it can function as a natural screen, providing privacy and wind protection in residential gardens or along property lines.
  • Landscape Accent: As a specimen or focal point, this ninebark's striking colors can draw the eye and add interest to any garden setting.
  • Mass Planting: Planting multiple Ginger Wine® Ninebark shrubs together can create a dramatic effect, especially in larger landscapes where their collective color can have a stunning impact.
  • Naturalistic Planting: It's well-suited for naturalistic or woodland gardens, blending with other native plants and contributing to a habitat-friendly environment.

Each of these uses takes advantage of the plant's unique characteristics, such as its colorful foliage that changes with the seasons, its resilience in various hardiness zones, and its low-maintenance nature, making it a valuable addition to a wide range of garden designs.

Planting & Care

Planting and caring for the Ginger Wine® Ninebark is relatively straightforward, making it an appealing choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. Here is a guide to ensure your Ninebark thrives:


  • Timing: The best time to plant the Ninebark is during the cooler months of spring or fall to minimize stress on the plant.
  • Location: Choose a site with full sun to encourage the best foliage color and flower production, although it can tolerate part sun.
  • Soil: It adapts to a wide range of soil types but prefers well-drained soil. Amend with compost before planting to give it a good start.
  • Spacing: Space the plants approximately 5 to 6 feet apart to allow for their mature spread.
  • Watering: Water thoroughly at planting to settle the soil around the roots.


  • Watering: Once established, Ninebark is drought-tolerant, but it will benefit from occasional watering during extended dry periods, especially in the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base to retain soil moisture and regulate soil temperature.
  • Pruning: Little pruning is required. If necessary, prune for shape after flowering or in late winter/early spring. Ninebark blooms on old wood, so avoid heavy spring pruning to not sacrifice flowers.
  • Fertilizing: Fertilization is not usually necessary. If growth seems slow, you can apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring.
  • Pests/Diseases: This shrub is disease-resistant but watch for common pests and treat them promptly if they arise.

Additional Tips:

  • Winter Care: Ninebark is hardy and doesn't require winter protection in most climates.
  • Longevity: With proper care, this Ninebark can be a long-lasting addition to your garden.
  • Supporting Wildlife: Its flowers attract pollinators, and its seed heads can provide food for birds.

By following these planting and care tips, your Ginger Wine® Ninebark should grow to be a healthy and beautiful addition to your landscape.

Additional Information

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Ginger Wine® Ninebark


Plant Features

  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Watering Needs: Low; drought tolerant once established.
  • Botanical Pronunciation: fy-so-KAR-pus op-yoo-lih-FOH-lee-us
  • Deciduous/evergreen: Deciduous
  • Growth rate: Medium
  • Average landscape size: Reaches 5-6’ tall and wide.
  • Special features: Native to North America, Foliage Interest, Fall Interest, Drought Tolerant
  • Dramatic Foliage Color: Orange in spring, matures to purple-red
  • Blooms: Late spring to early summer
  • Flower color: Pink and white
  • Flower attributes: Clusters of white flowers that age to red seed heads
  • Garden style: Country, Informal, Rustic
  • Design Ideas: Makes a striking specimen plant or can be used for mass planting and screening. Ideal for borders and as a dramatic backdrop for other plantings. Its vibrant foliage and flowers add seasonal interest to cottage gardens and native plant landscapes.
  • Companion Plants: Suitable to pair with low-maintenance perennials and grasses that complement its color changes.


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